Shopping is a necessity. We have to buy things; food, clothing, toiletries and the list goes on. When your hungry and don’t have anything to wear you don’t question buying food and clothes.
But when your shopping for a big purchase there are some things that you should ask yourself before deciding to spend a lot of money(and a lot is definitely relative to you individually for some it could mean $50 and others $5000 so think of our own budget.)
1. Can I get this cheaper? Some big purchases can’t be avoided, you need a car and a stove to cook but do you need a car with every bell and whistle available? Does your stove have to have 8 burners? Sometimes when making a big purchase you go above and beyond what you may truly need. Stick to your bare needs and only add on extras if you can afterwards.
2. Can you afford it? Rule of thumb:If you can’t buy it twice over and be okay then you CANT AFFORD IT! This rule can and should be applied to any purchase you make. Ask yourself if you can buy it twice and if you answered “no” then most likely you need to save a little bit longer or opt for a cheaper option. Before I buy something over my threshold of what is deemed expensive or inexpensive to me I ask myself this question so be honest with yourself and evaluate your wallet.
3. Do I really need this? Maybe one of the most simplest questions and one that should be asked before others is do you really need this purchase or do you just want it. Can you wear the same shoes you have worn in the past instead of spending $150 on a new pair? If you just buy some new tires will your already paid off car last you another year or two before you have to go into the world of having a car payment again? Sometimes not wanting to make the best of what you already have can lead you to make a purchase that you don’t need(or at least right at the moment) and you can either put more money towards when you NEED it and have no other choice or you can spend it elsewhere.
4. How long will this last? Take the worth calculator: how much “it” costs/how long you plan to have or use it=it’s true worth. If I buy a coat for $200 and it lasts every winter or cold front for the next ten years before I have to buy another coat then that coat is worth $20 a year. If this is a coat that you really love and have been working on getting for some time then it is more than worth the $20 a year it comes out to. On the other hand if you spend $10,000 on a new kitchen but then eat out everyday so you never get to utilize your kitchen then mostly the $10,000 isn’t worth it. Do the math. See it’s worth.
I ask myself these 4 questions whenever I make any purchase and it has allowed me to make smarter decisions and saved me money. Don’t underestimate the power of slowing down before making any decisions and checking in with yourself to make sure that it’s the right choice for you. I hope you find this list helpful and don’t forget to check out some of my other posts.